MINEHEAD now has 20 publicly accessible defibrillators in the town thanks to a collaboration between a supermarket and proactive residents. 

Minehead Community Defib Group has announced the activation of the life-saving equipment, which is located at the junction of Staunton Road with Callins View.

The installation of the defibrillator was made possible thanks to funding generated by Tesco Minehead's Blue Token Scheme.

Local residents supplemented the funding pot by contributing to a dedicated JustGiving page.

Jennie Norris was vital in starting conversations about the need for the critical resource. During a free public training workshop organised by the charity in July 2023, Jennie asked whether it would be possible to install a defibrillator in the Staunton Road/Chestnut Way area.

This ignited a neighbourhood-wide effort, with Jennie at its forefront.

Richard Newton, chairman of the charity, said: "We are thrilled to see our community rallying together to ensure the safety and well-being of all residents.

"With 20 public access defibrillators now operational in Minehead, we are profoundly grateful to Jennie for her keen insight and determination, to Kat for graciously hosting the installation on her property, and to Tesco Minehead for their invaluable support."

More information about the charity can be found on its website: "The Minehead Community Defib Group was formed on May 7 2021 using a Charity Commission small charity constitution.

"At the time it was not expected the group would exceed an income of more than £5,000 a year. Since then, the group have been extremely successful and at it’s AGM in May 2022, the group determined that it should apply for registered charity status.

"The group came about as a result of Richard and Diane Newton raising money in 2020 for a defibrillator for the harbour area in Minehead. Such was the generosity of the community of Minehead together with that of friends and family from across the country and world, enough money was raised to provide a second defibrillator at The Jubilee Café on the seafront.

"Donations kept coming in and public interest increased, to progress the project in an open and transparent way, Richard and Diane brought together a committee of like-minded people and created a non-incorporated interest group using a small charity constitution template from the charity commission website."